A Little Flavor
One of our favorite summer camp activities occurred at dinnertime. It brought pure joy to unscrew the lid of the salt-shaker, and then watch with glee as someone “accidentally” poured the entire contents on their meal. WHY was this so funny? Because a little salt adds flavor, while too much salt renders the meal inedible.
In Bible times salt had many valuable uses. It was both a preservative and a seasoning. It symbolized hospitality and fidelity, and was used to bind a covenant. Soldiers were often paid in salt, hence our word “salary” which is derived from the same root word. Salt was used as an antiseptic. It was a valuable commodity. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Mathew 5:13) He was saying that our character should add value to our culture. Our presence should make life a little more bearable, more enjoyable. Life should taste better when we are around.
The story of the good Samaritan is a familiar one. A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead. Two professional, religious men observe the situation but refuse to help. Then an outsider, detestable to the community of the victim stops to lend aid. He applies medicine to his wounds, carries him to a motel to help him recuperate from his injuries, then pays for his continued care. This is the man whose character added value to his culture. He saw a need and immediately met the need with generosity and compassion.
Theologian Charles Spurgeon discussed impacting culture: “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” A little awareness, sensitivity and compassion go a long way. Be salt. Add flavor to your culture by developing sensitivity to the needs of those around you, and a willingness to meet those needs quickly and completely. Carve your name on hearts and you will discover that those around you will find it easier to cope with difficulty and adversity because you were a part of their world and added just the right amount of flavor.